The Squirming Coil of sunset, I keep within my reach,
Tried yesterday to get away and hitchhiked to the beach
I saw Satan on the beach, Trying to catch a Ray
He wasn’t quite the speed of light, and the squirming coil
it got away . . .

– Squirming Coil (Phish)

I was a Senior in high school when I developed a serious penchant for the “Squirming Coil” on Phish’s A Live One. Every good time that year ended the same way – four Heads deeply caught up into every note of Page’s “Squirming Coil” solo in the upstairs room of a small suburban New Jersey house. Music never again sounded as good as it did those nights. At every show to this day, I’m still chasing that “Coil.”

So I can identify with the Tampa Bay Rays, trying to hold on to their best players as they get away to big market teams with more cash to burn. Boston, New York, Detroit and Chicago have already swooped in and taken the team captain, cleanup hitter, setup man and closer.

To recap:
Chicago Cubs signed Carlos Pena for $10 million for one year.
Detroit Tigers signed Joaquin Benoit for $15 million over three years.
New York Yankees signed Rafael Soriano for $36 million over three years.
Boston Red Sox signed Carl Crawford for $142 million over seven years.

It is the case that Pena batted .190 last year, Benoit has a career 4.50 ERA, Soriano is injury prone and Crawford has never hit 20 home runs in a season. But getting poached like an endangered specious is bad for animals and baseball teams alike. What’s a poor Tampa Head to do?

I’d like to lick the coil some day like Icarus, who had to pay
With melting wax and feathers brown, he tasted it on his way down

Tampa fans take heed in your killer staff and Evan Longoria and give hope to the rope-a-dope; let these overvalued contracts bog Chicago, Detroit, New York and Boston down. Finally, toughen up, throw some punches, sign another team’s captain, and get in every one of your player’s face with this:

Stun the puppy! Burn the whale! Bark a scruff and go to jail!
Forge the coin and lick the stamp! Little Jimmy’s off to camp

Kick ass and take names. If any player doesn’t like it, they can go play with Little Jimmy and the rest of Cabin 4 in summer camp league and here’s the bus fair to get out of Tampa. Good riddance Carlos. Rafael, Carl – Adios. Beat it, Joaquin. This is Rays baseball. This sh*t is real.